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Montenegro – IDU Calls for Political Dialogue to End Post-Election Crisis

The IDU is deeply concerned about the circumstances and outcome of the Montenegrin elections that took place on 16 October; the worsening situation in Montenegro, in particular the lack of a free press and the alleged collusion of security forces and threats against opposition parties.

The IDU calls on the all political parties to open discussions in order to overcome this crisis and find a sustainable solution towards a transitional government that can prepare genuinely free and fair elections in Montenegro.

 

During the election day, the State Prosecutor in combination with the security services and government controlled media, announced five hours before the polls were due to close that twenty terrorists had been arrested in connection with an alleged attack on state institutions.

Shortly after this announcement, the ruling Socialist Party (DPS) publicly accused the Democratic Front alliance (which includes IDU Member ‘Movement for Changes’ – PZP) of responsibility for the alleged terrorist attacks. The state prosecutor claimed that more terrorists were still at large.

This action was aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear amongst the voters in order to make them stay at home. Prior to the announcement, voting trends indicated a high turnout – 6% higher than the last election. As a result of the news turnout was significantly reduced. This direct interference in the election negatively affected, in particular, the turnout amongst opposition voters. The same evening, the state prosecutor decided that 6 out of the 20 suspected ‘terrorists’ could be released without charge. Charges against most of the remaining ‘terrorists’ were dropped a few days later.

As a consequence of this interference in the political process, all opposition parties have rejected the results of the election. The opposition is boycotting the opening of parliament until the state prosecutor and courts make the final decision on these election day activities and the alleged connection with opposition parties.

The chairman of the IDU Member PZP, Neboja Medojevic said “These elections have deepened the political crisis in Montenegro and have endangered the stability in the country as a result of a lack of legitimacy of the political system and institutions. Just one day before polls opened, more than two thousand of the opposition activists were arrested. This atmosphere of repression and intimidation have invalidated the election outcome. Montenegro urgently needs a transition government in order to recover trust in the political system and pave the way for genuinely free and fair elections”

 

About the IDU

The International Democrat Union (IDU) is a working association of over 80 Conservative, Christian Democrat and like-minded political parties of the centre and centre right. Formed in 1983, the IDU provides a forum in which Parties holding similar beliefs can come together and exchange views on matters of policy and organisational interest, and speak with one strong voice to promote democracy and centre-right policies around the globe. If you want to know more, please check on www.idu.org

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